Thursday, March 12, 2015

AWN Daily Snippets (Mar 12, 2015)

Pashtun Poet. A very famous Pashtun poet, Abdul Ghani Khan (1914-1996), has had many of his poems translated into other languages - including English. Read more in "The Pilgrim of Beauty: A Pashtun Poet's Continuing Appeal", Gandhara Blog, March 11, 2015.

ANSF Operations. Tolo News reports that the ANSF are conducting clearing operations in the provinces of Farah, Zabul, Kandahar, Helmand, and Paktika to prepare for operations against the insurgents once the spring fighting season begins (Mar 11, 2015).

Afghanistan is the source of 80% of the worlds opium. Most of it goes through Iran and Central Asia to Europe; however, it appears that a 'southern route' is steadily being used - transiting the drugs through East Africa and then into Europe. (Business Insider, Mar 7, 2015).

China is paying a lot more attention to Afghanistan and folks are noticing. Some believe that China will play a helpful role in Afghanistan's future economic and security prospects. (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 8, 2015).

Humanitarian organizations are having a recruitment problem in Afghanistan. Development recruiters find that it is difficult to hire local and international aid workers for Afghanistan due to the security concerns. (, Mar 10, 2015).

The Dutch Foreign Minister and Defense Minister visited Afghanistan recently. One of their stops was Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. (NL Times, Mar 10, 2015).

Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, has penned a report entitled "A gripping glimpse into bin Laden's decline and fall", CNN News, March 11, 2015. It also provides information on just how devastating the CIA's drone war in the skies of Pakistan has been on al Qaeda.

General John Campbell regularly posts warnings on Facebook the fact that he is happily married. It seems there are over 700 fake profiles on the Internet claiming to be him. (The Washington Post, March 10, 2015.

Not many Afghan interpreters are fortunate enough to escape the violence of Afghanistan and get to American (Visas from the State Dept are hard to get). However, the struggle does not end once in the United States; many suffer economically. Read more in "No Way to Treat an Ally", Free Beacon, March 11, 2015.

TAAC North Charity Run. The Europeans at Train, Advise, Assist Command - North located at Camp Marmal (near Mazer-e Sharif) held a charity run (called the "Wasa Run") for the families of fallen Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) personnel. The run, held on March 8, 2015 (Sunday is a "low ops" day at Camp Marmal), was initiated by soldiers of the Swedish contingent with help from other organizations on the base. Over 2,222 Euros (over $2K) was handed over to the Afghan Red Crescent Society Widow Center Maraston. There are over 21 countries working at Camp Marmal. (RS News, March 10, 2015).

Maintenance in the Afghan Air Force (AAF). While the pilots get all the glory the support personnel in the Air Forces the world over do much of the work to keep the pilots (and planes) flying. This is true of the newly-built (not quite ready) Afghan Air Force. A recent news release by U.S. Air Forces Central Command highlights the work that Afghan maintainers do to keep the Mi-17 helicopters flying. Read "Afghan Air Force runs on maintenance", CENTCOM, March 10, 2015.

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